Extremism normalized

Proposed Logo for the Unmanned Drone Office

Remember when, in the wake of the 9/11 attack, the Patriot Act was controversial, held up as the symbolic face of Bush/Cheney radicalism and widely lamented as a threat to core American liberties and restraints on federal surveillance and detention powers? Yet now, the Patriot Act is quietly renewed every four years by overwhelming majorities in both parties (despite substantial evidence of serious abuse), and almost nobody is bothered by it any longer. That’s how extremist powers become normalized: they just become such a fixture in our political culture that we are trained to take them for granted, to view the warped as normal.

Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com

Chomsky on Obama

“Appearing on Democracy Now this morning, Noam Chomsky said the following:

If the Bush administration didn’t like somebody, they’d kidnap them and send them to torture chambers.

If the Obama administration decides they don’t like somebody, they murder them.

Though a bit oversimpified — the Bush administration killed plenty of people, while the Obama administration makes use of kidnapping and torture chambers albeit by proxy; also, as this tweeter noted: it’s ‘unfair to say the Obama administration kills those it doesn’t like, since they claim power to kill people without even knowing who they are’  – this concise comparison just about about sums it up. But it’s important to note that President Obama has progressivism in his heart and that makes all the difference in the world.”

Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com

A proposal for Copyright Reform

Today’s copyright legislation is out of balance, and out of tune with the times. It has turned an entire generation of young people into criminals in the eyes of the law, in a futile attempt at stopping tech- nological development. Yet file sharing has continued to grow ex- ponentially. Neither propaganda, fear tactics, nor ever harsher laws have been able to stop the development.

It is impossible to enforce the ban against non-commercial file sharing without infringing on fundamental human rights. As long as there are ways for citizens to communicate in private, they will be used to share copyrighted materials. The only way to even try to limit file sharing is to remove the right to private communication. In the last decade, this is the direction that copyright enforcement legislation has moved in, under pressure from big business lobby- ists who see their monopolies under threat. We need to reverse this trend to safeguard fundamental rights.

The Pirate Party Copyright Reform Proposal

Why Do Copyright Industry Profits Get To Be The Yardstick For Civil Liberties?

“The role of any entrepreneur is to make money given the contemporary constraints of society and technology. They do not get to dismantle civil liberties, even if – and perhaps especially if – they are unable to make money in the face of sustained civil liberties.”

Rick Falkvinge – Techdirt

“Now they resort to logic! By God man, where will this end?” – says the Big Media executive…

“Why Only Stephen Colbert Can Save [y]Our Democracy”

” As corporations displace the power of individual citizens to determine the outcome of elections, the American political system will become increasingly compromised. Elections alone do not make a democracy, and even dictatorships have elections every now and then (and we all can predict the outcome).  So as super PACs gain power in our electoral system, perhaps the most strident voice is the one that refuses to be duped by the absurdity of this new political system. And votes Colbert.”

Joe Joffe